Instruction & Learning
The Instruction and Learning Department oversees the district's curriculum and assessments.
Dr. Susan Gentile
Director of Instruction and Learning
Director of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives
The Quaker Valley School District's (QVSD) vision embraces a philosophy towards teaching and learning where classrooms are learning communities that foster a culture of thinking. This vision drives our curriculum development and instructional practices, which endeavor to:
- Engage students actively in intellectually challenging and important content
- Develop students’ understanding of the content and related concepts through problem-solving and critical thinking
- Provide cognitive challenge through “minds-on” instructional experiences
In our classrooms, we strive to create communities of learning where adults and children learn together. We believe that inquiry learning and complex thinking and problem-solving promote lasting understanding. Our curriculum, therefore, reflects our beliefs about the importance of learning experiences that will lead to lasting understanding and the ability to apply and use knowledge in new contexts.
QVSD follows a process of curriculum mapping to develop and refine our curriculum to meet the needs of our students. Our curriculum framework is developed by teachers and curriculum specialists utilizing concepts from the Teaching for Understanding and the Visible Thinking projects developed at Harvard University’s Project Zero, an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. These approaches are highly innovative, and are designed to enhance educational instruction and support student learning.
Our curriculum addresses the standards outlined by the state of Pennsylvania for all subjects and courses, and programs are continually evaluated and refined following a curriculum review process. Pennsylvania’s standards offer a set of academic expectations that all students should master by the end of each grade level. These standards also reflect the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has adopted the Standards-Aligned System (SAS). This is a comprehensive approach to curriculum and instruction that supports student achievement across the Commonwealth. Please visit www.pdesas.org to learn more.